There are a lot of misconceptions about how rapport works. The standard NLP perspective on rapport building is all about matching and mirroring. That is matching and mirroring body language, breathing, tone of voice, language words and anything else. Sadly this is not even close to what Rapport really is.
Can NLP Trainers Build Rapport?
But the reality is something different. Here is how some NLP Trainers have managed to quite subtly completely miss the point.
Building Rapport is Vital
On the free Hypnotic Persuasion Skills Course you will have already heard me say that rapport is vital. However good the patterns are they are only as good as the amount of rapport you have. As such it is important to be able to build rapport when you need it.
Below you will discover a way you can learn some of the key secrets to incredibly deep rapport quickly and easily. You can find very powerful techniques to take covert control of a conversation on my Hypnotic Persuasion Applied to Interview Skills Programme.
Tormenting NLP Practitioners
One of my most favourite activities is tormenting newbie NLP Practitioners who have been sold this misconception about rapport building. As they desperately try to match and mirror me I will develop odd facial twitches, scratch various bits of my body and start leaning in various different directions. My best claim to fame is getting three newbie practitioners to fall out of their chairs in sequence just by the right amount of leaning.
Think about the people in your life who you have a great deal of rapport with. When you think about particular situations I think you can remember times when you had rapport with those people but were not particularly matching or mirroring anything about them. The reality is when you have rapport people naturally match and mirror each other. This means matching and mirroring is a rapport indicator and not necessarily a rapport builder.
Many NLP Trainers don’t emphasise that rapport is a process not a thing. Next time you have a long conversation with someone just notice how the rapport changes as you agree and disagree with various points made during the conversation. Rapport is not a fixed state it fluctuates, ebbs and flows as a naturally as the conversation.
Another aspect of rapport is often not explained by all NLP Trainers is that it is not necessarily about liking, but just about increasing responsiveness. Just look at two people in an intense argument. They will be very well matched with tone, volume and pace of voice and usually body language as well. They will be hyper sensitive and responding very quickly to changes in the other person. This is rapport just as much as feeling of warmth, connection and friendship towards a friend.
How do you build rapport?
Does that mean you can’t use matching and mirroring to get rapport? Actually, it does help but is not particularly effective. Rapport is a more sophisticated thing. A good NLP Course will give you a great many ideas on how to build rapport. The best NLP Trainers will give you a solid process on how to build that instantaneous connection with anyone.
A simple way of building rapport would be to really see the world through the eyes of the other person and build a connection with them from there. There are a number of processes that can help you to do this, but some very effective approaches are well described on the Advanced Persuasion Pattern Course.
As a final point the issue is not actually about how do you build rapport, but what are you going to do once you have it. What that means is having some idea of influence and persuasion skills, having some clear outcomes for the conversation and moving people in the direction you want them to go.
Good NLP Training will show you much more than just how to build rapport. All my Persuasion Skills Training is about you developing the skills to increase responsiveness so you can move people to a result that serves you and them. A great place to find out more is the Advanced Persuasion Patterns FAQ Page here: